Not everyone has abused DROP
It is one thing for Ralph Cipriano to have his biased view of the DROP program, but it is wrong to publish it without demanding he explain the program better ("No stopping city's runaway gravy train," Tuesday).
The DROP payments, which Cipriano erroneously refers to as bonuses, are made by the Philadelphia Board of Pensions, and do not come from the city's operating budget.
Cipriano further insinuates that the city's large jump in pension costs is due to DROP. This is a total fabrication. The increased funding costs are due to chronic underfunding of the pension system in years past, state laws mandating a set level of funding, and, most recently, stock-market losses.
I further take offense at Cipriano's attempt to lump together all DROP participants. Please do not put us all in the same category of those shameless few who have abused the program by accepting DROP payments and then allowing themselves to be reelected or rehired.
Fire Lt. Robert Herbst
Question Toomey's support of Israel
I am disturbed when nonfacts cobbled together with stirring music and an authoritative voice-over are presented as the truth. Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak's speaking at a Council on American-Islamic Relations dinner is being warped into just such a conclusion.
Gov. Rendell and State Sen. Andy Dinniman also attended. Among the subjects Sestak addressed was his steadfast support of Israel. He suggested to those present that they need to accept Israel's right to exist.
Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey seems to be arguing that he is a greater supporter of Israel. How then does he explain his two "no" votes for appropriations to Israel within his three terms as a congressman?
Obama following Chavez to fascism
The only motive I can imagine for Oliver Stone to produce his propaganda movie South of the Border
is to mess up American minds.
Contrary to Mark Weisbrot's article ("What Hugo Chavez could teach Obama," July 15), President Obama is attempting, with all his might, to emulate Chavez.
Most Americans are poorly informed about Latin America and don't know Chavez is far along in establishing a fascist state in Venezuela. I ask fellow citizens to see Stone's propaganda for what it is, and work to maintain our freedom.
End commissions to save money
Gov. Christie is going after school officials' salaries while much bigger fish are at his feet. He should eliminate 99 percent of all commissions and authorities at the state, county, and local levels.
These entities were created not for the good of the people, but for the politicians and former politicians who have absolutely no experience in these areas; not that they actually do any work.
We don't need sewer authorities; we need sewer departments. We don't need water commissions; we need water departments. We don't need the Delaware River (as in water) Port Authority handling land development next to Cooper Hospital.
Cops shouldn't be guarding work sites
With the city's budget under enormous pressure, and Mayor Nutter struggling to maintain the strength of an effective, crime-fighting police force, why do we see so many idling squad cars and officers guarding roadwork sites?
Why can't these jobs go to unemployed and underemployed citizens at much lower wages? Are we paying overtime to the police while padding the earnings upon which their future pensions are based?
Earmarks are the root of some evil
Harold Jackson's July 25 "Under the Sun" column about states' rights comments on the obligation of members of Congress to balance the needs of their local constituents with the nation's "general good."
In today's partisan world, temptation lurks on both sides. The folks back home want you to deliver on appropriations, jobs, and favors, and to support their beliefs. Your national party, and its financial backers, push you to support "greater good" causes that, sometimes, are driven by political opportunism. What's a poor public servant to do?
One quick fix would be to just say no to all earmarks and to omnibus appropriations bills that are stuffed with pet projects. The longer-term solution would require a world where one could be elected to Congress without having to raise multimillion dollars of campaign funds and agree to vote the party line on every major bill. One can dream.